Today, I will be discussing a highly debatable topic.
What is truly the best factor on a roller coaster?
The way that it is most logical to tell is by comparing and looking at some of the world’s best roller coasters.
The most popular factors and the most debated are intensity vs. airtime.
I will use Intimidator 305 from Kings Dominion, known for it’s intensity and Steel Vengeance from Cedar Point, known primarily for it’s airtime.
Comparing the two elements is hard because it depends on a person’s preference.
Many people consider Intimidator 305 to be the “Best Roller Coaster in the World” because of how intense it is. On the other hand, other people consider Steel Vengeance to hold the same title.
However, the element that matters more to a ride is intensity. Intensity will cause the elements to have more gravitational force on them, resulting in a faster, more forceful ride.
Intensity is the element that is, therefore, the most important element on a roller coaster.
Then how is Steel Vengeance the Best Roller Coaster in people’s opinion?
The answer to this question is preference. A person may favor airtime over intensity. In addition, Steel Vengeance still has intensity, just not on the scale of Intimidator 305’s. That also is a considerable factor in the decision.
Does intensity and airtime work in the same position?
Intensity will cause airtime to greater increase. Airtime will also cause intensity to increase.
That is, depending on certain factors, like the actual intensity and airtime rate per miles/hour.
If a ride is more intense just from lift hill buildup of potential energy, the kinetic energy will cause the ride to be faster and more intense. Faster and more intense rides lead to more airtime.
A lot of people say that airtime and intensity are always competing, when they are in actuality working together.
The practical answer for these two roller coasters: While people all will have their own opinion, which is based on many subjective preferences, airtime and intensity is equally important. Intensity will greater affect airtime, leading to differences in opinions. Both are important influencing the other factor, and therefore the ride itself.
Let’s dive into round 2.
We will be looking at the same factors, but with different roller coasters.
Millennium Force from Cedar Point with the category of intensity and Goliath from Six Flags Over Georgia with the category of airtime.
Millennium Force and Goliath have a very similar thing in common:
They both opened as star-attractions with amazing reputations in their known-for characteristics. That’s one of the reasons they are still popular today.
The thing to keep in mind is while those are the rides primary focus, what was said before still applies.
Intensity and airtime, again: They are closely related to each other.
Millennium Force is intense, but does not have too much airtime. Lots of floater airtime, maybe a little ejector airtime. But that’s it.
Goliath is intense too, and has a lot of airtime. Floater and ejector airtime can be experienced on the ride.
What can be applied to balance the two out?
To truly balance intensity and airtime, understand that weight affects how intense a ride is and the amount of airtime to experience on a ride.
Also, consider that if a ride has a lot of airtime, it most likely has more intensity.
That being said, it can be applied to a ride being more intense, can make it have more airtime.
Some rides will not be balanced out between the two. There are physics calculations to calculate all of it, however, parks only share the basic stats. The “advanced” information is never released.
After two rounds of comparing roller coasters to discover more about the issue, it is evident that intensity and airtime are linked.
They affect each other and the ride’s performance/overall experience.
Furthermore, the one that is “better” depends on the ride. That is where the balance between the two’s role enters in. It affects specific rides differently, as explained during the debate.
It also depends purely on personal preference, which is a subjective matter.
All of these things are to consider, especially when arguing with someone about it or criticizing others’ opinions.